Ravichandran Ashwin hails Anil Kumble for the ideas he implemented during his tenure

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Ravichandran Ashwin hails Anil Kumble for the ideas he implemented during his tenure

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SportsCafe Desk


Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed how overawed he was with Anil Kumble's range of ideas during his tenure as the head coach and praised him for sharing some awesome ideas. The 30-year old also suggested that he bears striking resemblance to the former leg-spinner in terms of preparing for a game.

Anil Kumble joined the Indian team as the head coach in 2016 and the former off-spinner brought a lot of bowling experience along with him owing to his participation in 132 Test matches for India scalping 619 wickets. Ashwin revealed that the former leg-spinner was a huge help for the Indian bowlers not just because of his wealth of experience but also because of the wide range of ideas that he brought along.

"As a spin bowler, I feel he was very, very good in terms of bouncing ideas off and he definitely obviously brought a lot to the table in terms of showing us the pitch maps and trying and replicating those pitch maps before the game or every single day of the Test match. There were some different attempts made as a coach. If at all there was one thing I constantly had to challenge and battle against him, it was his idea-speed – the speed at which he brought ideas to the table, the speed at which he wanted you to change plans. All those things are experiences that come wrapped in a gift hamper, if you know what I mean. He pushes at a pace which is a champion’s speed, and the problem is that that can sometimes come across as a pushy methodology, but I quite enjoyed his company. On occasions, we had disagreements, but one thing about Anil bhai is that he never shied away from anything. It is a working style of every single individual in the team and I think for me, he was a great help as a spin bowler, personally," Ashwin told Wisden India.

Anil Kumble, an expressive figure on the field did not hesitate in letting the fielders know about their mistakes. On the other hand, Ashwin is known to be a calm and composed on the field who usually let goes of minor mistakes on the field. However, the Tamil Nadu offie revealed that his pre-game preparation and mindset bore a striking resemblance to that of Kumble.

"We are pretty similar in terms of how we prepare for a game. We strike a similarity there. The other thing is that we are thinking similarly during game time as well in terms of how we react when we have not taken a wicket in a session or when the team is in a spot of bother, how we change plans. He is also someone who wants to make things happen but I would like to think that I am a little more composed than Anil bhai is! Anil bhai is far more expressive than I am. These are the things that are common to us and because we are on the same page, we could strike up conversations at different stages of the game."

Ashwin will be playing his 50th Test for India against Sri Lanka on 26th July and is just 25 wickets from the 300-wicket mark in Test cricket. However, the 30-year-old suggested that the only motivation that drives him will be his hunger to leave an everlasting impact on cricket.

"Motivation will definitely not be a factor, especially for someone like me, because it is going to my 50th Test. And as you rightly said, I haven’t had a lot of competitive cricket over the last four months, so what other motivation would I need? Just go out there and try and bowl at my best abilities and probably enjoy myself and try and win another series for India. Along the way, if possible, try and achieve something glorious – that’s the goal for now."

The Indian cricketing fraternity was rocked by the Kumble-Kohli controversy that eventually led to Kumble's departure from the role of the Indian coach. Ashwin revealed that the team is looking to put that behind and focusing on winning the upcoming games.

"Ravi (Shastri) bhai has been team director in the past and he has filled that role on more than one occasion. Even during the 2015 World Cup, he filled those boots. He is now coming back after one year. It’s a kind of a tricky situation because it has put a lot of people under immense pressure. I am sure it has not been easy on Anil (Kumble) bhai, and I am sure it has not been easy on Virat (Kohli). I think everybody is going through a hard phase in their life but it is also a time where we can put all these things behind us and get together as a team and try and put results on the board. The only thing that will get us back on the road and get some momentum back is try and create some lovely memories and victories."

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